Tamara and Chris James were heading home after a soccer game Saturday with their children, Angela, 7, and Michael, 5, when they noticed Georgia Avenue was blocked and the streets filled with the festivities of the 29th Annual Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee.
They decided to check it out, and were glad they did.
“It’s something to do on a Saturday. It’s community. It’s fun,” said Tamara James. “It’s nice to see some of the businesses out here.”
The event featured rides and games for the kids, entertainment and more than 100 vendor booths lining the street. Small businesses as well as nonprofit organizations set up tents to draw in visitors.
“This is a great networking event with the community,” said Pam Stickler, executive director of the RECing Crew. “We are giving out free tattoo stickers and treats for the kids. We also have note cards for sale.”
The note cards will bring in some funds for the organization, which provides recreational programs for children and adults with special needs, but she said the main reason to come out to the event is to interact with others in the community.
“We do it for the kids,” she said.
A few tents over from the RECing Crew, Mickey Lubeck with Musical Theatre Workshops in Martinez watched as children decorated paper masks with glitter, feathers and other sparkly items at her booth. Musical Theatre Workshops members also painted faces.
“We’ve had good success at local festivals,” said Lubeck. “We did the Columbus Day event and Arts in the Heart. It’s a good way for the kids in the shows to raise money for their costumes, and it gives good exposure.”
Lubeck’s group also performed at the event. She said the children and teenagers are gearing up for performances of Godspell and The Aristocats in early 2014.
Amaris Lawson, a third grader at North Augusta Elementary School, stopped by the musical theater tent to make one of the masks, decorating it with a colorful array of feathers.
Her mother, Lisa Lawson, said this was the first time they’d made it to the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee.
“She rode some of the rides,” Lawson said. “We got some homemade soaps, and did sand art. We’ve enjoyed just looking around.”